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Weekend links: Questionable actions

Photo by Steve Rhodes on Flickr.
PG County Executive and wife arrested: The FBI arrested Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie yesterday. They were under investigation for corruption in awarding development contracts in the county. Mr. Johnson is ending his second term while Mrs. Johnson was recently elected to the County Council. (Post)

No more free Smithsonians?: The federal debt commission, in its recommendations for reducing federal spending, has suggested charging $7.50 admission for Smithsonian Museums, saying it would save $225 million. DC Like a Local says it's not only a bad idea, the numbers are embarrassingly questionable. (NBC Washington)

Herndon Metro plan raises differing opinions: The planned Herndon Metro station abuts a single-family subdivision. Some residents are eager for TOD, while others want no change, fearing they will be "developed right out of Herndon." (Fairfax Times)

DC crime concentrated in pockets: Recent analysis of DC crime from 2000-2009 reveals that crime is unevenly distributed throughout the city, with a small percentage of blocks accounting for a high percentage of all crime in the city. (Urban Institute, Mark Jordan)

M and New Jersey SE will start (Barnes) dancing: DDOT will try a second "Barnes Dance," where pedestrians get a phase where they can cross diagonally as well as in the usual directions, at the busy corner of New Jersey and M Streets, SE, where the Metro station is on one corner and USDOT headquarters is diagonally across. It's not clear whether turns will be allowed or not. (Housing Complex)

Montgomery moves closer to car sharing: Montgomery County's parking facilities may soon house car sharing vehicles. A vendor hasn't been selected, but Silver Spring and Bethesda will each get 6 spots, Wheaton, 4, and Montgomery Hills, 2. (South Silver Spring)

Metro wants to hire vets: WMATA will hold an employment open house for veterans, hoping to attract service members transitioning from active duty into the workforce. (WTOP)

Driver charged in hit-and-run on S. Capitol: A Fort Washington resident has been charged with negligent homicide after he struck and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian on South Capitol Street in Bellevue, and left the scene. (Post)

And...: Loudoun and Fairfax are the richest counties in the country. 5 other Washington-Baltimore region counties make the top 10 list. (Post) ... A large number of bikes were stolen from a bike rack inside a locked Rosslyn apartment building garage. (ARLnow, Rob Pitingolo) ... The problem with drive-thrus is if one goes out of business the building can only accommodate the same type of business. (Greater City Providence)

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Erik Weber has been living car-free in the District since 2009. Hailing from the home of the nation's first Urban Growth Boundary, Erik has been interested in transit since spending summers in Germany as a kid where he rode as many buses, trains and streetcars as he could find. Views expressed here are Erik's alone. 


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Per the drive-thru buildings:

While I've spent most of my life in the DC area, my husband and I moved to the Upper Midwest as part of a job transfer for him. It's a nice, mid-sized town, but not terribly affluent.

There was a building that when we moved here was a closed restaurant that had had a drive-thru a location that made driving-thru really difficult. It was reopened as a coffee shop with a drive-thru lane - it closed down inside a year (again, not a convenient drive-thru). Then another business bought it and is much more successful: a jewelry store.

Apparently they just gutted the inside and just ignore the drive thru lane - I think the owner or manager of the store uses it as a covered car port for his car, since the same car is always parked in the lane during business hours.

A building is just a building. Some set ups are easier for one business to segue into, but if you have the money to rearrange the inside, then it's just an architectural feature.

by Chasmosaur on Nov 13, 2010 1:23 pm • linkreport

Nice to see my hometown (and gcpvd for that matter) get some attention down here!

by Kvnhntr on Nov 13, 2010 2:17 pm • linkreport

Hmm, funny in college park 8400 Baltimore had a drive through when it housed a bank and it closed and is now ignored. Further south between where Jerrys and Merchants tire was, there were several businesses which didn't use the drive through.

But I guess I missed the point, see it's related to cars and therefore is 100% bad.

by m on Nov 13, 2010 3:07 pm • linkreport

Re: Herndon,

If someone thought that downtown Herndon was too developed I wonder why they only move a couple miles away, that whole area is and has been developing very rapidly. Herndon isn't developing b/c of metro but metro is coming to help make development around there more walkable and compact. That said, I understand the homeowners trepidation but this new development is not being "shoved down her throat" if she's at the planning meetings for what to do about a site that will have a metro station in six years.

by Canaan on Nov 13, 2010 4:10 pm • linkreport

Like others Ive seen drive thru buildings where the drive thru is closed and used as an alley.

Also, most fast food buildings are extremely easy to destroy and rebuild. In Boston, I saw a mcdonalds be completely demolished and the debris moved in a single day. in California, a burger king has been lifted onto a truck and moved across the street.

Barnes Dance: More is good. Im glad DC is continuing to make them pedestrian focused (exclusive and concurrent) and not car focused (exclusive only).

Museum: Lets give 700 BILLION in tax breaks to the rich, but damn those museums are surely eating into our budget.

by JJJJ on Nov 13, 2010 5:06 pm • linkreport

There was a bank in my old hometown that got gobbled up by another bank that already had a branch in town. The building sat vacant for a few years before the town bought it, and relocated some services from city hall over to it.

They decided to reuse the drive-through window as a sort of "In-person 311" service. Mainly, it's just used to drop off taxes, forms, etc, but I always found it to be a bit of an amusing novelty.

by andrew on Nov 13, 2010 5:30 pm • linkreport

Apparently, Mrs Johnson had $80k stuffed in her bra. Can't decide how that ranks compared to that Congressional crook from LA that had $100k in his freezer. Bra vs freezer. It all happens right here in the Washington Metro area folks. Be loud and be proud!

by Jasper on Nov 14, 2010 6:33 pm • linkreport

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